CSIR Nano-Centre: Mandela Day 2019

A newly formed Nano Social committee embarked on their first activity for 2019 by visiting Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and High Care nurses at Steve Biko hospital, Pretoria, to pledge their 67 minutes of activism, on Mandela Day.

Mandela Day is celebrated on 18 July (each year) – Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The United Nations officially declared 18 July Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognising Mandela’s “values and his dedication to the service of humanity” and acknowledging his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world. The international appeal is for people throughout the world to celebrate this day by carrying out actions based on the notion that every person has the power to change the world for the better. With South Africa’s health care system grappling with the rise in communicable and noncommunicable diseases, nurses work under immense pressure and poor conditions (i.e lack of resources).  “There is also a high prevalence of workplace infections of tuberculosis, which is robbing the health sector of a skilled workforce that consists of predominantly nurses,” Kevin Halama, spokesperson of The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA (Hospersa), alluding to the risks associated with the role of nurses in clinics and hospitals as they work to ensure that primary healthcare reached the most vulnerable South Africans, who depended on it the most.  Through the support of Prof. Suprakas (Nano centre’s director), the team was able to prepare gifts for the nurses in a form of CSIR branded merchandise. The committee, along with some Nanocentre staff and students, visited a few ICU wards to deliver massages of encouragement and appreciation for their service.